Naturally, the knee joint is designed to work properly when it is exercised. This is why exercise is so important, especially as you age. Exercise strengthens knee muscles so that they can carry more weight.
After knee surgery, you may be afraid that participating in physical exercise might exacerbate the problem. Your concerns are genuine; activity could worsen the injury and derail your recovery. So, you need to know which exercises to engage in and which ones to avoid.
Remember that you should only engage in physical activities recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. If you want to try something new, make sure you consult your therapist first.
You must be wondering what knee replacement exercises to avoid so as not to worsen your injury. A simple rule of thumb is to avoid those that put a lot of stress on the knee or weight-bearing exercises until you are able to tolerate it safely. So, which are these exercises?
Exercises To Avoid After Knee Surgery
1. Running and Jogging
You would want to avoid high-stress endurance exercises that involve any kind of running. Instead, you should consider alternatives that place less pressure and stress on the knee, such as cycling and power walking.
If you have just undergone a knee replacement, running, or activities that involve jumping could damage the implant since they are high-impact. This does not mean you will never be able to run. Of course, you could still run, but experts believe that such activities impact the implant’s long-term functionality.
2. Hiking/Rock Climbing
Hiking is more of a sport than an exercise and makes it to the list because of the amount of pressure and stress it places on the knee. Walking downhill places a lot of stress on the knee, which you’d want to avoid during recovery.
If you have to hike after your surgery, then walk slowly when going downhill to ensure minimal pressure on the knee joint.
3. Heavy Back Exercises
You should avoid carrying anything heavy on your back, including a heavy backpack. Anytime you load up your back, you increase the stress transferred to the knees.
If you have to backpack, consult your physician first. Of course, your age is an important consideration, and older adults are at more risk of aggravating their injuries.
If you engage in hiking activities that require you to carry a backpack, focus on quad strengthening exercises after knee surgery before getting back on the trail.
Your physician should evaluate your fitness level and weight before you put weight on your back. If you are given the green light, start with moderate exercise to strengthen and adapt your knee muscles.
4. High-Impact Aerobics
Aerobics involves lunging, jumping, and twisting, all of which are short, impactful exercises that can put a lot of strain on your knee. You can engage in low-impact aerobics, though.
If you love aerobics, consider low-impact options such as water aerobics. Water suspends your body weight, therefore, reducing the weight and stress transferred to the knees.
It also provides buoyance that takes the pressure off your knees as opposed to regular aerobics.
Yoga is one of the best exercises for recovery as it improves blood flow and reflexibility, which improves range of motion. So, why should you avoid yoga if you have just had knee surgery?
Your body will feel different after surgery, and it might take time before things return to normal. It is advisable not to put pressure on the knee during the early stages of recovery.
Yoga poses the risk of poor post-op alignment, which may increase the likelihood of knee issues recurring. If you have to do yoga, avoid poses that pass the knee beyond the ankle.
Skating requires strong support from the knees, and remember, you don’t want to put pressure on your knees yet. It carries a high risk for someone with a knee injury.
After a knee replacement surgery, it will be challenging to get the maximum range of movement with the new knee. While it may improve with time, you may experience a permanently limited range of motion.
Since skating requires a high range of motion, it may place unwanted pressure on the knee. The other danger of skating is collision risk, which will impact the knee and might exacerbate the injury.
If you love to dance, you may want to take a break after your knee surgery. Some dance types require sudden turning, twisting, and stopping, and you don’t want that since it may derail the recovery.
Every individual is different, and each person recovers differently. The exercises mentioned above carry a higher risk, but it also depends on your response. Your doctor might evaluate your condition and recommend some of these exercises as well.
Always follow your doctor’s advice to ensure a smooth recovery. The information given here is just for general knowledge, so don’t be surprised if your therapist recommends any of the exercises above.